Willie J. Hardy, chairman pro team of the D.C. City Council, said yesterday that she may withdraw two children from the city school system "because they are just getting an education.
Hardy (D-Ward 7) made the comment at a hearing on the mayor's proposed city budget for the 1980 fiscal year, which includes $258 million for the school system. The school board wants the figure raised to $274 million.
"This may be the last year we can send our children to public schools," Hardy Told Robert Boyd, who was appearing as a witness for a group called D.C. Citizens for Better Public Education. He supported the school board request.
If she decides to withdraw the children and send them to private schools, Hardy said she would sue the school board to recover the expense.
Hardy did not give details of her complaints against the school system during the hearing, but she explained her reasons in an interview afterward.
She complained of a lack of discipline and fights among pupils at Plummer Elementary School in Southeast, where a 13-year-old adopted daughter attends sixth grade but is not showing reasonable progress. "She just can't afford to be in that kind of setting," Hardy said.
Hardy had high praise for Woodson High School, attended by a 16-year-old grandson she is raising as her own son, but said textbooks are so scarce that students cannot take them home to study. She said they are left in classrooms for others to use in different periods of the day.
Hardy's comments drew an angry rebuttal from Conrad P. Smith, president of the school board. "I don't think Mrs. Hardy has been the most responsive council member when it comes to supporting the schools of D.C." financially, Smith said.
James Curry, principal of Woodson, said Hardy's complaint of a textbook shortage was accurate, since budget cuts resulted in the school going without an allotment of new books for two years.
"I think it was citywide problem," Curry said. "But the books are on the way now - the problem shold be solved soon."
The Metropolitan Washington Board of Trade, during general testimony on the mayor's proposed $1.4 billion budget for all city agencies, cast doubt on the school board's proposal to hire 421 new teachers. "This stands out because the overall school enrollment has been decreasing," its spokesman, William O'Malley, said.